Convenience stores still trying to recover from frozen snack brand’s flavors of horror

It’s been nearly a month since Japan was struck by the disgusting napolitan (pasta) flavored Gari Gari Kun popsicles. What began as some frivolous fun by makers Akagi Nyugyo messing around with new flavors, has result into numerous instances of snack-related trauma among the populace.

Ice candy sellers have been quick to respond to this disaster. At 7-Eleven, a super delicious Gari Gari Kun snack was promptly released based on their exclusive line of cream puffs. Other convenience stores, however, were not so lucky and had to resort to more drastic measures, namely big, big savings on remaining stock.

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Helicopter dog would prefer his boy wore water wings

Pets are pretty great: they are cute, funny and occasionally do crazy things. It doesn’t hurt that they just love us so much (probably more than we deserve, most of the time). You’ve probably heard of helicopter parents, but what about helicopter pets? If you don’t believe me, check out this video. This dog is so sweetly over-protective that it’s bound to inject some happy into your day.

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Mr. Sato takes on Family Mart’s “All-You-Can-Eat Convenience Store Challenge!”

Imagine if you had ten minutes to run amuck in a convenience store and could eat whatever you wanted and as much of it as you could. Now imagine it’s a Japanese convenience store where the unwritten rule is: If you can’t find something you want to eat, you aren’t hungry.

Our well-seasoned convenience store correspondent Mr. Sato had just gotten such an experience recently in the FamilyMart booth at Niconico Super Party III, but discovered that an all-you-can-eat convenience store experience isn’t without its difficulties.

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Hotties from history: the geisha of Japan’s first beauty pageant【Photos】

While the origins of the modern pageant are firmly rooted in 19th century America and P.T. Barnam’s popular photo competitions, Japan apparently didn’t take long to get on the bandwagon. The first beauty pageant was held in Japan in 1891, with a vote on Tokyo’s most beautiful geisha, and we just happen to have the winner and four runners-up in photo form for you here today.

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Who am I? 14 ways to say “I” in Japanese

Long ago, when the majority of the Japanese vocabulary I knew came from reverse engineering the English subtitles on anime tapes, I was patting myself on the back for having figured out that “watashi” means “I.” So imagine my shock and disappointment when I came across a different scene showing a character so overcome with emotion he’d been reduced to stammering, with the subtitles saying, “I…I…I…,” even though he never once said watashi.

Nine times out of ten, you can make money betting against my deductive reasoning skills, but this was one of those rare occasions where my conclusion had been right, as watashi does indeed translate as “I.” It’s just that “I” doesn’t always equal “watashi,” because Japanese has over a dozen pronouns you can use to talk about yourself.

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Burger King launches perplexing ‘PooPoo Smoothie’ in China

Burger King has raised some eyebrows with its latest menu addition in China, called the “PooPoo Smoothie.”

The drink as similar to a Taiwanese boba tea, or bubble tea, and has pulp-like “pearls” inside that are supposed to “explode in your mouth upon consumption,” according to the Daily Meal.

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Boat believed to be debris from Japan’s 2011 tsunami drifts all the way to Washington

A small boat thought to have journeyed across the Pacific Ocean from Japan after the March 2011 tsunami has washed up in Washington this week. The boat, which is encrusted with unusual-looking barnacles, is believed to have travelled an incredible 6,500 kilometres (4,559 miles) across the ocean in the three years since the tsunami and earthquake disaster struck east Japan.

State officials are checking the boat, which drifted ashore in Ocean Shores on Monday, to confirm its origin. It’s the second boat to wash ashore in Washington state in two weeks.

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Japanese YouTuber shows you how not to brush your teeth

YouTube isn’t all cat videos and aspiring singers, you know; it’s actually filled with genuinely creative and talented folks. As proof, we present to you a Japanese guy’s channel dedicated to brushing his teeth with guns.

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Adorable tiny cosplayer puts one point in the “Sailor Moon is for kids” column

There’s a long-running debate over whether or not Sailor Moon is actually for little girls. On the one hand, the series’ core cast of heroines are all 14-year-olds, and the magazine the comic was originally serialized in, Nakayoshi, has elementary and middle schoolers as it target demographic.

Still, the legions of adult Sailor Moon fans around the world would argue the story has plenty of witty self-referential humor and mature content, including romance and violence. Why, just look at Sailor Saturn, whose powers of death and destruction give her the capability to annihilate entire worlds.

Of course, the character doesn’t look nearly so intimidating when she’s being cosplayed as by an adorable toddler.

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Cute or creepy? Chinese man photoshops himself into his girlfriend’s past 【Photos】

Birthdays, holidays, anniversaries: the big three gift-giving occasions.

“Happy Anniversary, honey!” you say to each other, eagerly awaiting the moment you can unwrap the special gift your sweetheart thought of this year. For girls, diamonds are always well-received, but something original, something that no one else has, is perhaps even more memorable than that shiny stone. A photographer in China has attracted the attention of the netizens around the world for his romantic, yet questionable anniversary gift.

Creepy or cute? You decide!

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Movie magic? Or movie tragic?【Video】

In today’s fast-moving world of entertainment television and movies, many productions have been made possible with the advent of computer-generated images (CGI). A lot of movies and TV shows wouldn’t be conceivable without a little help from the green screen. That’s why it’s so rare today to see some production crews go back and do it “old-school”.

A small production in Taiwan has shared the secrets behind their “movie magic” in a short video, and it’s something that you really have to see, if only because it’s sure to put a big smile on your face.

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A house from a 3-D printer – in China they are about to “make it so”

Three-dimensional printers are the wave of the future. They are already changing the way some products are manufactured and what can be printed is now only limited to our imagination. Most people are thinking small, but a company in China is thinking big, as big as a house…actually, literally a house! Once these houses pass the requisite safety checks, a massive number of people could be living in 3-D printed houses in only a few short years!

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Authentic video game ceramics from Square Enix look beautiful but don’t come cheap

Almost all of the nice tableware in my apartment are pieces that my wife brought with her when we moved in together. As a bachelor, most of what was in my cupboards came from the 100-yen shop, with the exception of one pricy whiskey glass I bought when I decided that even if there was no one around to see me do it, I really shouldn’t be drinking straight from the bottle.

Of course, this scrimping on cutlery and dishes meant more money to throw into buying video games. I may have considered upping my eager budgets for such things if I’d seen these awesome plates and cups from fabled game publisher Square Enix.

That is, until I saw their astronomical price tags.

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“Please help” – Note written by man in Chinese labour camp found in New York department store bag

While some of us get to spend our days taking selfies, slurping on Starbucks and shopping at designer stores, others are not quite so lucky.

In a crushing reminder of the disparities and injustice that exist in our world, a woman shopping at luxury New York department store Saks Fifth Avenue has discovered a note at the bottom of her bag written by a man imprisoned in a forced labour camp in China, pleading for help contacting his family and the United Nations.

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Ever wondered what Steve Jobs would look like as a cute Japanese girl?

No, me neither, but now you can get just that on a T-shirt!

If you’ve been looking for the right way to express your admiration for Apple’s legendary CEO, wait no longer! Now you can get the genderswitched Jobs shirt you’ve always wanted! From the illustrator of IS <Infinite Stratos> and the Xenosaga series, this merchandise for unlikely mash-up manga Chocolate Apple has been years in the making.

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A brief history of Japanese girls’ rock

When most people hear “Japanese female musician,” the image that springs to mind is an idol singer, covered in frills and girl-next-door sweetness. You’ll get no arguments from us against the theory that Japan produces more bubblegum pop princesses than anywhere else, and the county’s not likely to lose the top spot on that list anytime soon.

But not every female vocalist to achieve success in Japan did so by hitching her wagon to the idol system star. While its popularity has ebbed and flowed multiple times, the history of girls’ rock stretches back at least three decades in Japan, and today we take a look at, and a listen to, some of its stars.

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Gogatsu-byou: The “sickness” that strikes Japan each and every May

As well as being the start of the new business and academic year, April in Japan also marks the time when new graduates make their first forays into the world of full-time employment and many companies rotate their staff both to keep them on their toes and help them acquire new skills. It’s a fun, frenetic time of year, and everyone from kids in their new school uniforms to fresh-faced employees wearing crisp, black suits looks tremendously smart and presentable as they hurry to their place of education or employment, eager to make the most of their day.

In May, however, it all comes crashing down. Reality sets in and people start to realise that everything is just as awful as it was before, albeit with a few quirks and a shiny new name badge or lunchbox. The fire in kids’ bellies goes out, the twinkle disappears from new employees’ eyes, and they start to approach their work with all the enthusiasm of a pot-smoking snail going through a serious emo phase.

This, dear reader, is gogatsu-byou; the phenomenon that occurs every May and affects millions of Japanese to some degree or other.

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This massive ball of fur is the cat-of-the-moment on Twitter in Japan!【Photos】

It’s an indisputable fact that the Internet loves cats. But does the Internet love fat cats too? The answer is yes! Japanese netizens have been amazed and smitten by Kintoki, possibly the biggest house cat we’ve ever seen on Twitter. Check out this larger-than-life kitty!

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Every weekend is an itasha car show at Akihabara’s UDX parking garage

A friend of mine has a theory about Japanese pop idol performances. In his opinion, the real show isn’t the performers on stage, but the fans in the audience putting their unabashed passion on display as they cover themselves from head to toe in clothing bearing the likeness of their favorite singer.

You can make a similar argument about Tokyo’s anime shopping mecca of Akihabara. Sure, the neighborhood is packed with specialty stores, each of which is in turn packed with the rarest and/or latest merchandise. As interesting as the inventories of professional products may be, though, they’re often upstaged by the creations of fans who flock to the district to show them off, such as the anime-decaled cars of Japan’s itasha capital, the Akihabara UDX parking garage.

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Survey reveals that secretaries in Japan say ‘no’ to these types of husband

Rakuten Research has released the results of an online poll about the kinds of men women in Japan do not want to marry, and as a result the heads of lonely trolls are exploding all over Japan.

Collating results from 100 female secretaries between the ages of 30 and 49, the survey had three possible answers for each prompt: “I’d be OK with marrying him,” “I’d be hesitant to marry him,” and “I absolutely would not marry him.” Only the 10 list of undesirable traits in potential husbands were published, and only three qualify as being so bad that the respondents said there’s no way they’d marry them.

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